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Location of the Month: Kaufman Park March 4, 2013

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Kaufman Park is a great little place to film with it’s lovely lake, docks, and wooded areas. We first filmed there for Eidolon, shooting several scenes from various episodes on the main dock and near the woods in September of 2004. We later filmed more scenes there on the other side of the lake in February of 2005, also for Eidolon. I am sure we will be filming there again at some point. If you are in the Champaign area and are looking for a great place to go boating or fishing, or even just to take a walk or have a picnic then check out Kaufman Lake.

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Location of the Month: Netrour-Berksin-Scheeline Residence March 1, 2013

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When we needed a place to serve as the druidic home for Diyara in Pandora’s Box, Diana Neatrour volunteered her place. Several scenes from Episodes 6, 7, 16, 18, and 21-23 were filmed in the house, utilizing almost every room on the first floor and basement. When the location I had arranged for the tavern in Episode 22 fell through, she said “you could use my basement” and we did! The office in the house was used as Leffridge’s office and for some reason always induced fits of giggles while filming in it. It was a great location!

Thank you so very much to Diana and her family for letting us use their residence for filming!

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Location of the Month: Fort Massac State Park February 26, 2013

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Fort Massac is one of the coolest locations I’ve ever had the pleasure (and permission!) to film in. The first full shooting day for The Gift Bearer was filmed at the Fort. The fort we filmed at was a reconstruction of a French fort built on the site in 1760. It was later torn down due to damage suffered from the years and elements, and rebuilt in the style of the American fort built on the same site in 1803. We filmed again, this time at the new fort, in 2005 for the PBS mini-doc about George Rogers Clark.

Fort Massac is a wonderful place to visit. if you’re ever near Metropolis, IL don’t forget to check out Fort Massac as well as the giant Superman statue.

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Location of the Month: Giant City State Park December 3, 2012

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Giant City is a beautiful and amazing park in Southern Illinois. Peter Normand introduced me to this wonderful place while filming Episode 6 of The Curse. Naturally I wanted to film there again. I got the chance while filming Episodes 9-10, and 20 of The Gift Bearer. We returned again, exploring more areas of the park for filming multiple episodes Dream Chasers. I would normally mark where scenes were filmed on the arial map above, but I really can’t tell where the places we filmed were located on that. The park is so large that I had trouble finding the same locations when I was actually there! If you’re ever in Southern Illinois take a trip to Giant City – it’s a great place to explore.

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Location of the Month: Crystal Lake Park November 3, 2012

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Parks are a great place to film and in Central Illinois finding a forest with a lake isn’t always easy. Luckily there is the beautiful Crystal Lake Park in Urbana. We first filmed there while shooting Destiny in 1996. We rented the boathouse in 1998 for the 3rd Frank Awards and company party. Then in the summer of 2000 we once again filmed several scenes at Crystal Lake – this time for the TV show Pandora’s Box. Several scenes in Episodes 21, 22, and 23 were filmed there. It was four more years before we got a chance to film there again, but in the fall of 2004 we filmed several scenes on the lake with a paddle boat for Episode 10 of Eidolon. I sometimes forget what a beautiful park this is and a what a great place to film, so hopefully we will film there again in the future. If you’re in Urbana and have time, swing by Crystal Lake Park.

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Location of the Month: Forest Park Beach October 3, 2012

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I wanted to film at the beach ever since I wrote beach scenes in Destiny III in 1998, and again in 2001 for The Curse, but it wasn’t until July of 2004 that I finally achieved that goal. There were several scenes in Eidolon, including a couple of dream/nightmare sequences, that were filmed at Forest Park Beach on the shores of Lake Michigan. It was a beautiful place to play – crowded on a nice summer day, but that’s okay. The cast and I had a super fun time playing – I mean “filming” – in the water. Unfortunately, I risked taking Horatio (the main camera) into the lake and he got soaked in a wave (he’s okay now) which ended filming a little bit earlier than intended (which just left more playtime).

Super huge thanks to Brittany Ann Whalen who found the location and arranged for us to film there. It was a fabulous location and I’d love to film there again someday!

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Location of the Month: The Weber Residence September 2, 2012

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In 1998 I was searching for a nice house to film the final scenes from The Perfect Combination in when Kate Weber volunteered her home. It turned out to be the perfect place to film those scenes, including a comedic chase scene. Fourteen years later we were able to film there again for two short films in the movie Fortunate Ones – Magic 8 which takes place in a typical house, and Forever which takes place in a basement. The Weber residence was a fantastic place to film both of those (especially because it was air-conditioned!) and I cannot thank Kate and her family enough for letting us film there.

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Location of the Month: University of Illinois Arboretum August 2, 2012

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The U of I Arboretum has been one of my favorite locations over the years and I often use it when there isn’t enough time to go to Allerton Park or I want variety in a beautiful garden. I first discovered the Arboretum while filming Pandora’s Box and it became an extension of Zarina’s royal gardens. It was the perfect place to film Cat and Decarlo’s wedding as well, since there was a beautiful little gazebo like area (where we were able to film in the rain), as well as the wonderful and colorful flower garden for the reception area. When I needed a nice picnic area for the princesses in Charming I immediately thought of the Arboretum and also find it a great place to film the pre-wedding scene for The Devil and Kitta Gray. I know I will use this location again because it really is a wonderful place to film.

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Location of the Month: Wesley United Methodist Church June 1, 2012

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Finding rooms that look like the inside of a castle in central Illinois is not easy, being allowed to film in them for free is even more difficult. Luckily there is the beautiful Wesley United Methodist Church in Urbana. With the several rooms including Tudor-looking hallways, comfortable lounges, wood paneled cafes, and the magnificent Great Hall, Wesley was perfect. Almost all of Destiny II, and a large number of scenes in Destiny, Destiny III, and Destiny: Mini-series were filmed here. Many thanks to all the staff at Wesley and Bonnie Lacey Taylor for allowing us to film in their beautiful building.

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Location of the Month: WIDB May 24, 2012

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When we needed a space that looked like an office but had places to take cover and where we could film a big shoot out scene, we had a little trouble finding one. Luckily WIDB, the student radio station at SIUC, agreed to let us use their station as a filming location for Episode 16 of The Gift Bearer. I can’t thank them enough for allowing us to shoot there and I can only imagine what the DJs working at the time were thinking as they watched people attacked with phone books and shooting each other with fake guns.

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